"With her wealth of experience in the organization, development and implementation of cultural programming, Gabri Christa is well qualified to lead Snug Harbor as our Artistic Director and further our efforts to cultivate emerging artists, attract new audiences, and integrate all our cultural offerings at Snug Harbor" said CEO Lynn Kelly. "She will also be an invaluable asset to our efforts to reinforce existing partnerships with other cultural institutions and forage new ones."
"The position of Artistic Director for Snug Harbor is in complete harmony with my belief in contributing to the society I live in and creating understanding and connection through the arts," said Gabri Christa.
"I am pleased to have the opportunity to use my talents as a creative problem solver, team player, educator, community builder, and connector to benefit such a unique cultural, educational and historic institution."
Gabri Christa is an award winning dancer, choreographer and filmmaker. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for choreography, and was invited to the Pangea Day Film Festival as "one the world's most promising filmmakers." For the past four years she was Director of Performing Arts for the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York. As part of her dance career, she co-founded, choreographed and performed with numerous dance companies, including Danza Contemporanea de Cuba and the Bill T. Jones/Arne Zane Dance Company. Her work has been presented at various venues, including Dance Theater Workshop, Central Park Summer Stage and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. As a dance educator, she has been on the faculty at Princeton, Barnard College, Ballet Hispanico and City University of New York. She spent eight years on the board of Dance Theater Workshop.
Her film career includes short films such as High School which received an ABC TV Award for Creative Excellence, and Kasita, which won best short at the Harlem International Film Festival. Other short films, Quarantine, Savoneta, Domino, and Ringshout, have screened as jury finalists in festivals including Tokyo, London, Amsterdam, Munich, Capetown, Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta.
In keeping with her belief in the social impact of the arts on communities, she curated with Theo Dorian a living room performance series in St. George. While on the faculty at the College of Staten Island, Ms. Christa presented groups such as the Bessie award-winning choreographer John Jasperse and Bessie Award winner Germaul Barnes. Other Staten Island community activities include serving on board of the St. George Civic Association, teaching dance at Curtis High School, choreographing for the Staten Island Ballet, and developing a Performing Arts in Residence Program at the Staten Island Community Charter School.
Ms. Christa earned a Bachelor of Arts from the College of the Arts, School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Washington Dance Program, Seattle. A resident of Staten Island, she lives in St. George with her musician husband, Vernon Reid, of the group Living Colour, and their eleven-year-old daughter, Idea.
About Snug Harbor
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is one of the largest ongoing adaptive reuse projects in America. It consists of 26 historical buildings, numerous distinctive botanical gardens and 10 acres of wetlands on a unique 83-acre campus. Formerly Sailors' Snug Harbor, a home for retired sailors built in the 1800s, Snug Harbor is now a distinguished regional arts center where history, architecture, visual and performing arts, environmental science, agriculture and horticulture provide dynamic experiences for all ages. Snug Harbor is also home to the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, the Noble Maritime Collection, Staten Island Children's Museum, Art Lab, and the Staten Island Museum. Snug Harbor is a proud Smithsonian Affiliate.